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Bad Bolts Club: 10 Sketchy Bolt Types That You Might Be Better Off Not Clipping

Gallery: Bad Bolts Club—10 Sketchy Bolt Types

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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr

*Many of the older horizontal-logo timebombs have been replaced. For further reference, the ASCA has this to say: “The old-style SMC bolt hanger, vintage late 1970s to early ’80s, had problems with weakness and should be replaced. It is slightly thinner than a quarter (25-cent coin), is metallic gray and often has a pale-yellow tinge (the new style is thicker than a quarter and has a silvery tinge).”

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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr
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Andrew Burr

You know that feeling you get when you’re in over your head, pumped out of your mind, wicked scared, and waaaaay runout? Your palms sweat and that Elvis leg just about jack hammers you off that gigantic foothold… Now, imagine that instead of a terrifying runout being the culprit, it’s because of a bolt that’s well within clipping distance. That sketchy, rusted, piece of mank will invoke sheer terror, panic, and put the fear of God into the strongest of climbers, and me too. These bad bolts gave rise to the American Safe Climbing Association (ASCA) and most have been replaced—so don’t fret. Actually, maybe do. If you stray from well-traveled routes, these bad boys are hiding in plain sight all over the world.

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